- The Washington Times - Friday, January 28, 2011


The barbaric Middle Eastern practice of honor killing has made an appearance on our shores. It happens when men murder members of their own family to avenge purported slights against Islam. For instance, Pakistan-born Muzzammil Hassan allegedly beat and then beheaded his wife Aasiya in Buffalo, N.Y. on Feb. 12, 2009. Six days earlier, Aasiya announced her intention to file for divorce and obtained a restraining order.

In another example, Iraq-born Faleh-Hassan Almaleki allegedly ran down his 20-year-old daughter Noor with his Jeep Cherokee near their Phoenix home on Oct. 20, 2009. Noor was killed and the mother of her boyfriend was injured. Prosecutors say Almaleki was angry at his daughter for refusing an arranged marriage.

These cases bear the signs of honor killings and the men, both Muslims, are currently on trial for murder. If the crimes had been committed in their home countries - where Shariah law forms the foundation for judicial proceedings - the defendants frequently escape serious punishment because witnesses often refuse to testify out of fear.

Texas and Wyoming want to make sure legal concepts based on the Koran don’t gain a foothold in America. Proposed state constitutional amendments would ban the use of Shariah and other forms of international law from the courtroom. On Election Day in November, Oklahomans gave an overwhelming 70 percent approval to a similar amendment to the Sooner State constitution.

While a Shariah ban ought to be a no-brainer, it has generated significant controversy. In November, a federal magistrate sided with the Council of American-Islamic Relations and ordered an injunction that blocked certification of Oklahoma’s amendment. Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange wrote that a Muslim activist would suffer “a stigma attaching to his person, relegating him to an ineffectual position within the political community, and causing him injury” had the amendment been allowed to take effect. In other words, it might hurt someone’s feelings.

It also would have stopped a development taking hold in some European nations where two parallel legal systems have emerged. In the United Kingdom, for example, there are 85 Shariah courts employing imams to adjudicate civil and familial matters. These operate independently of the crown. A 2010 report by One Law for All Campaign titled “Shariah Law in Britain: A Threat to One Law for All and Equal Rights,” says women have the most to lose from the influx of Islamic law. This code lends a woman’s testimony half the weight of a man’s and grants a husband’s petition for divorce more readily than a wife’s. The supposed women’s rights groups are strangely silent when the issue involves the crescent.

It isn’t difficult to imagine the gradual curtailment of other, more essential liberties should Shariah courts be allowed to flourish, for example the lenient treatment for men involved in honor killings of women.

America owes its historic achievements to a founding social contract, the Constitution, which promises to “secure the Blessings of Liberty” for its citizens. Those who would come to these shores and attempt to secrete Shariah into U.S. law will only succeed in diminishing the freedoms of all.

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